Despite the global recession, Sri Lanka has reported a 16.9 per cent increase in August 2009 arrivals from the UK compared to the same period last year.

The Indian Ocean island welcomed the highest number of British tourists in 2009 during the month of August, representing an increase of more than 1000 visitors over August last year.

Sri Lanka recorded a 32% increase in arrivals for the month across all destinations. According to the Sri Lanka Tourist Promotion Bureau, forward bookings indicate a strong finish to the year helped by the end of the conflict in the country and the subsequent relaxation of the FCO advice which has opened up additional major tourist attractions such as Yala National Park, Trincomalee and Arugam Bay.

Sanjika Perera, UK Director of Tourism said: "We are delighted that people have chosen to visit over the last few months showing the renewed confidence in Sri Lanka as a safe and value for money destination.

"We have worked on a persistent promotional campaign in conjunction with the hotel industry back home and with our airline and tour operator partners in the UK and the results have been very positive. To have improved visitor figures during the recession shows that the British public are aware of the diversity that Sri Lanka offers and keen to experience an Indian Ocean break, at a fair price."

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